Wolmar: London's housing crisis is too important for political games


Christian Wolmar told the BBC’s Sunday Politics programme that the housing crisis in the capital was too important for politicians to use it to play the “numbers game”.

Wolmar is seeking selection by Labour as the party’s candidate to run for London Mayor next year. He is the only non-Westminster figure on the Labour shortlist for selection. Wolmar was the first to declare his intention to run for selection, in 2012. Today was the first time that the BBC programme had invited Wolmar to the studio to discuss the Mayoral elections. 

“Property developers are not the solution to London’s housing crisis,” Wolmar said.

“It’s not about supply, but about what homes are supplied. You need genuinely affordable – I think social – housing.” Wolmar cited recent independent economic research which states that we need to build 100,000 social homes nationally each year.

Wolmar for London’s campaign has proposed policies which include a GLA housing agency which will work with the boroughs on funding and land acquisition to deliver truly affordable homes for working Londoners. 

“It is wrong to play the numbers game on supply,” Wolmar told the programme. “The key point is that we need social housing and it makes economic sense. Private landlords are getting massive subsidy through Housing Benefit.”

Christian Wolmar said today, “Running for London Mayor was never the next career move for me – I genuinely believe that London, and the Labour Party, need a fresh approach to its politics and policies for the capital. I welcome the chance to be on Labour’s shortlist to enable us to have the broadest possible debate among a wide selection of candidates.”

Under Labour’s open primary selection system, as well as party members in London having a vote for their choice of candidate, so do party supporters upon payment of a £3 fee. Christian Wolmar said, “Following the General Election, we need to revitalise and reinvigorate the party, and bring in new supporters and fresh ideas. 

“The Wolmar for London policies have the ability to transform London for the better. With our vision for a more affordable, liveable and sustainable city, we are attracting people to Labour who like our ideas.”

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